Doing 'IT': Our sex education podcast for parents & carers

Doing It Podcast Avatar Fa

Family Planning Victoria presents: Doing ‘IT’. In each episode, FPV's Schools Educator Anne interviews the experts to help parents, carers and teachers of school-aged children navigate the world of Relationships and Sexuality Education. Want to know more about: bodies, being safe, puberty, sex, sexual health and relationships? This is the podcast for you.

For more information contact us:

Download episode transcripts here.

Find Doing IT on

Podbean, Stitcher (account required), iTunes and Spotify


Episode #1: Welcome to Doing 'IT'

In this episode, we introduce you to Doing 'IT'. A new podcast from Family Planning Victoria. Listen to the experts as we discuss all things Relationships and Sexuality Education. Including: bodies, growing up, being safe, puberty, sex, identity, relationships, sexuality and sexual health. We know some parents and carers may find it difficult to have conversations about these topics with the young people in their lives. Having open and honest communication empowers young people to look after themselves in life and relationships. Doing ‘IT’ provides tips and resources to help parents, carers and teachers to start or continue these conversations. Enjoy!

Episode #2: What is Puberty?

In this episode, we talk to FPV Schools Team Manager Bonnie about puberty. What do young people want to know? When do parents and carers need to talk about this? What are the changes that happen in puberty? We tackle the common in this episode. This episode is a part of a series about puberty. Enjoy!

Episode #3: Taking care of your body

In this episode, we talk about ways young people can take care of their bodies as they go through puberty. They will need to understand the basics of how bodies work and how to manage changes like body odour and pimples. As a young person goes through puberty they are likely to want more independence privacy. In this episode FPV Schools Educator Sue talks about what young people need to know about taking care of their own body. This episode is a part of a series about puberty. Enjoy!

Episode #4: Body Image and Puberty

In this episode, we talk about young people and body image. As young people go through puberty, their body is likely to go through big changes. FPV Schools educator Andrea will talk about how to support your young person to feel confident about the body they are in as they navigate these changes. This episode is a part of a series about puberty. Enjoy!

Episode #5: Sperm Production

In this episode, we talk about sperm production. FPV Schools Educator explains what we would say to students about bodies as they start to produce sperm during puberty. This episode is a part of a series about puberty. Enjoy!

Episode #6: Periods

In this episode, we talk about periods. FPV Schools Education Manager Bonnie talks through the common questions that young people have about periods. How they work, myths and realities, talking about and managing periods. This episode is a part of a series about puberty. Enjoy!

Episode #7: What is sex?

In this episode, we discuss how to talk with young people about sex. Talking about sex often accompanies discussions about puberty in mid-primary school classes, prompting further questions at home. Parents and carers might find it difficult to know what to say. Schools Educator Athi joins Anne to share some wisdom on how to start or continue these conversations at home. Enjoy!

Episode #8: What is Masturbation?

In this episode, we talk about masturbation. Parents and carers often have questions about how and when to talk to young people about masturbation. Anne records this episode on her own. Enjoy!

Episode #9: Cognitive Disability and Puberty

In this episode, we speak to Kardie from FPV’s Schools and Community team. Kardie works with young people with cognitive disability to help guide them through puberty and how to have respectful relationships. We talk about what young people with cognitive disability need to know about puberty, when they need to know it and how their experience may be the same or different to their neuro-typical peers. Enjoy!

Episode #10: Interview with Chris Fisher on the 6th National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health

In this episode, we chat with Chris Fisher. Chris is the Associate Professor at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University. Chris provides a summary of his findings within his recent national research survey about the sexual health knowledge and sexual behaviours of Australian students in grades 10 to 12. Click through to podbean to access a link to the 6th National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health 2019. Enjoy!

Episode #11: Interview with Jenny Walsh

In this episode, we speak with Jenny Walsh. Jenny has been working the field of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in Australia and internationally for over 25 years. She is a former senior member of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University. She has authored resources and curriculum such as Catching on Early and Catching on Later which have been used by teachers to deliver RSE curriculum. Jenny tells us what has changed and what has stayed the same in Relationships and Sexuality Education. Enjoy!

Episode #12: Interview with Holly Ann Martin

In this episode, we speak with Holly Ann Martin. Holly Ann is Managing Director of Safe 4 Kids, a child abuse prevention program. Anne speaks with Holly Ann about the program and its impact in remote areas of northern Australia, where Holly Ann works with whole communities. For more information about Holly Ann go to the Safe 4 Kids website. Enjoy!

Episode #13: Interview with Fida Sanjakdar on culture, faith and sexuality education

In this episode, we speak with Fida Sanjakdar. Fida is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash University specializing in the intersection of culture, religion and sexuality education. Enjoy!

Episode #14: The Clitoris

In this episode, we speak with Vanessa Hamilton from Talking the Talk. She discusses the clitoris: a body part that is often left out of anatomy discussion. We talk about what it is, what young people need to know about it, what to say and when. Enjoy!

Episode #15: What about consent?

In this episode, we speak with FPV educator Kit about consent. When do young people start to learn about consent? What should adults say about it? What does consent mean in a sexual relationship? What does the law say about consent? What does FPV say about consent in classes? Enjoy!

Episode #16: Minus 18, Champions for LGTBIQ Youth

In this episode, we interview Miller Soding from Minus 18. Minus 18 is an Australian youth driven network for LGTBIQ young people. They run events, workshops and provide advocacy resources. Minus 18 is an agency that young people might know about through school. In this discussion, Miller answers questions about the type of work Minus 18 do and why it is so important. She also talks about some logistics of events that parents and carers might want to know about if they have a young person attending an event. Enjoy!

Episode #17: Going to the doctor and FAQs

In this episode, we talk to FPV’s Nurse Educator Sam Read. Young people often ask questions about sexual health information and seek information about how to protect their privacy. Sam talks about what it takes for a young person to get themselves to the doctor. What age can someone see a doctor on their own? Does a parent have to know if a young person has been prescribed contraception? What even is Medicare and the My Health record? Enjoy!

Episode #18: Fiona Katauskas on The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made

In this episode, we interview Fiona Katauskas. Fiona is a cartoonist, author and illustrator. She is the artist behind The Amazing True Story of How Babies are Made, a popular book that has been animated into a three-part series for families and schools. Fiona has created a funny, accurate and inclusive narrative as a way to guide a conversation about how babies are made. Family Planning Victoria have endorsed the resource and we have seen first hand how classrooms of students react to its humour and honesty in such a positive way. In this episode we talk about the creative process of writing and animating this story and the reactions it has had. The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made is available in bookshops and online.

Episode #19: What is Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority (VARTA)?

In this episode, we interview Kate Bourne from the Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority (VARTA). VARTA is responsible for the registration of reproductive clinics, public education, donor conception registers and can connect people with a sperm or egg donor. Statistically, there is a child in every class who was conceived through some kind of Assisted Reproductive Technology. When FPV run classes in primary school about making babies we talk about IVF and other types of Assisted Reproductive Technology. We think it is important that all types of conception are included. Kate discusses the role of VARTA, provides guidance about what to say to children about alternative methods of conception, and when to have those conversations. Enjoy!

Episode #20: Trans & Gender Diverse Parents

In this episode, we interview writer and LGBTIQ advocate Jac Tomlins. Jac has created a resource called Trans and Gender Diverse Parents Guide. In it, she records the experience of parenting as a transgender, gender diverse person or a person who is transitioning while parenting. These individual stories are published together to start building a picture of a collective experience and provide insights and advice for people within the community (LGBTIQ and more broadly). Children often have questions about what it means to be transgender and what that might mean for someone's fertility. This guide provides insight into this experience and guidance on ways to communicate this to young people. Enjoy!

Episode #21: Condoms

In this episode, sexual health nurse Alison everything you ever wanted to know about condoms. As Educators, we are frequently asked to talk about condoms in our classes. Upper primary school children often have questions about them. Secondary school students get a lot more information about what condoms are, what they are used for and how to use them. We also discuss how to talk to young people about what to do if sex without a condom happens. Condoms are the only type of contraception that protects against both STI’s (sexually transmissible infections) and pregnancy. This is important information for everyone to know before they have a sexual experience. Enjoy!

Episode #22: Inclusive Language

In this episode, Natalie from FPV talks us through inclusive language and how it applies to the way we talk about relationships and sexuality. In her work as Community Engagement and Health Promotions Officer, Natalie talks with many community groups to find out what is important to them, making FPV's services more inclusive and accessible. We discuss the importance of pronouns, define some key terms and are encouraged to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that we all carry. Enjoy!

Episode #23: The Pleasure Agenda

In this episode, FPV Chief Executive Officer, Claire Vissenga talks about pleasure. One of the most common reasons for people to choose a sexual relationship is the pursuit of pleasure. Yet discussions of pleasure are left out of curriculum and policy. Claire talks through FPV’s approach to this discussion and its importance. Enjoy!

Episode #24: Contraception

In this episode, Dr Lona Brown from Family Planning Victoria talks about contraception. This is an important part of our secondary school sex education. Lona talks through up-to-date information about contraception, including efficacy, cost and privacy. It is important for young people to have this information, so they are able to be responsible for their own sexual health and support their sexual partners.

Episode #25: Sexually Transmissible Infections

In this episode, Dr Suzanne Pearson from FPV talks through Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI's). Learning about STI's is part of gaining an understanding of sexual health. Suzanne talks about the effect of STI's when they are not diagnosed and the availability of treatment. Also, the importance for young people to be confident to ask for testing and being able to discuss testing status with sexual partners.

Episode #26: PrEP and PEP

In this episode, Anne speaks to FPV's Dr Lucy Donovan, about preventing human immunodeficiency virus or HIV through the use of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). PrEP and PEP are ways of using anti-viral medication to suppress HIV and stop its spread. PrEP and PEP might be used by people of all genders. Talking about these medications is an important part of a discussion about STI and BBV risk and safer sex practices. Many parents and carers aren't aware of how they are used, so here are the basics to get the conversation started.

Episode #27: Emergency Contraception

In this episode, Anne talks with Family Planning Victoria Dr Sara Whitburn and pharmacist David from Woodhouse Grove Pharmacy about emergency contraception. Emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy if no contraceptive protection was used, if the condom broke, or if a contraceptive pill was missed. It's yet another important part of the sexual health conversation parents and carers can have with their young people. Dr Sara talks about how emergency contraception works and David talks through the process of purchasing this at a pharmacy.

Episode #28: Abortion

In this episode FPV Medical Director Dr Kathy McNamee explains the process of abortion. This is something that students in secondary school often ask about. Young people want to know about the availability and privacy of abortion services. Kathy covers Australian laws around abortion, what might happen to someone’s body during an abortion and what support a person might need before and after an abortion.

Episode #29: Katrina Marson

In this episode Anne speaks with criminal lawyer Katrina Marson. Katrina has done extensive international research into Relationships and Sexuality Education as a preventive strategy to reduce the incidence of sexual violence in the community. Katrina discusses the potential impact of RSE programs, barriers to success, and what models work well in other parts of the world.

Episode #30: RSE Basics - COVID-19 Homework for Parents & Carers

In this episode we provide some small RSE homework tasks for each year level. FPV Schools Manager Bonnie details the skills and knowledge we would like students to have at different stages of their schooling. It is possible that due to COVID restrictions, students may miss out on planned RSE classes this year. Parents and carers who try a recommended task will be helping prepare their children for when life returns to something more like normal.

Episode #31: Dr Gemma Sharp

In this episode, Anne talks to Dr Gemma Sharp. Gemma is a clinical psychologist and Senior Research Fellow in the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre where she leads the Body Image Research Group. Gemma discusses young people and genital self-image, the rising popularity of labiaplasty surgery and the positive impact education can have on body image.

Episode #32: The Pleasure Perspective

In this episode, Anne speaks with Karen Molhuysen from Sexual Health Quarters in Western Australia. SHQ is part of the Family Planning Alliance Australia, and does very similar work to FPV. Karen has some practical advice on starting a conversation about sex with the idea that sex is most often about pleasure.

Episode #33: Early Years

Often people think that Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is only for students in senior years of primary school or secondary school. However, there is a lot of information that can be taught to children even before they get to school. Expert educator Athi from Family Planning Victoria, talks about what could be included in an RSE program in pre-school or kindergarten.